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My impression of TechEd ’04 Munich


Finally I have got some time to sit down and reflect on TechEd 04. This was my first big conference so I haven’t got many reference points to compare it with but I’ll do my best anyway. I am not going talk too much on the issues already discussed (overfilled sessions, no wlan), instead I’ll try to focus on the actual sessions.


Being a “techie”, I decided to try to get as many hands-on session as possible and in retrospect I think this was the right choice.


  • Developing iViews Using the SAP Portal Development Kit for .NET
    The PDK itself was impressive and it is very well integrated in the IDE. Compared with the old PDK (eclipse plugin) is it’s impressive (especially the UI generation is a lot simpler), but compared with Netwever developer studio it is a bit outdated.
  • SAP Netweaver for Linux
    This session gave alot of insight into SAP’s commitment to linux and that in a few years linux will be the dominant platform for Netweaver if the current trends continues.
  • Performance and Scalability of SAP Business Solutions
    Not my normal cup of tea, but had some interesting figures regarding stress tests done by SAP.
  • Single Sign-On in Heterogeneous Landscapes
    I have done some work on this field earlier and was interested in more information. The session was overcrowded to say the least, which is not very surprising as SSO is a very important part on an Enterprise Portal. Here I learned that Security Assertion MarkupLanaguage (SAML) is going to be supported in the future. If you would like to do SSO to your SAP systems, this is the session to go to.
  • Integrating Third-Party Applications Using SAP NetWeaver
    This was one of my favorite sessions of TechEd. While it didn’t go too much down in detail, it covered alot of ground and gave you a much better understanding of the big picture. After the session I also learned that JSR-168 (portlets) is planned for Netweaver ’05
  • Birds of Feathers
    This is what makes going to conferences truly worthwhile. We (DJ, Piers, Mark, Craig, Gregor and more) had a good discussion on open-source and SAP, and I also enjoyed learning of Brian’s session hacks in BSP. Too bad there weren’t more people and we hadn’t more time. After the BoFs we went out for a few beers and got a good glimpse into swedish english from some tourists.


  • Advanced Portal Content Creation Features
    The name of the session was a bit misleading, it concentrated mainly on unification and unfortunately there were a few technical problems
  • SAP Exchange Infrastructure: Adapter Framework
    This was probably the most overcrowded session I attended. It actually went so far that the lecturer asked SAP employees to leave to room, and a few brave souls left. The session itself was interesting
  • In the evening there was a party and it seems like the germans know there way around leather. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and this was probably the cause of the relatively low attendance the next morning


  • Webdynpro for Experts
    Having never worked with webdynpro, I figured that this was the session for me:). It was truly impressive, and I very much liked they way you could change the auto-generated code. The only question mark I was left with, was how much work it took to set up the basics of the exercises we used (models, ui, etc)

Room for improvements

There is always room for improvement, and here are some of my views:

  • Separate room for SDN
  • BoF sessions during daytime
  • Good Wlan connections, and directe video feed of all sessions
  • Publicly available computers, so that people do not sit in the lunch break reading their mail in the hands-on rooms
  • Stop swapping the Z key with the Y key on the laptop! What is the point with that 🙂

Good practices

Please do not stop doing the following in future TechEds:

  • Showing live demos from the systems, eventhough there are technical difficulties sometimes (I didn’t see the portal crashing one time though)
  • Focusing on hands-on training
  • Demo Jam
  • Interesting key notes from technically adapt SAP leaders (especially Shai Aggasi’s keynote was excellent)

All in all, it was a very good and interesting conference which really showed off Netweavers capabilities. My major regret is not getting more of those freebies, especially the neon coloured scuba equipment.

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